RHSSA Constitution

Non-profit society

Regional History Society of Southern Africa (RHSSA)



1.1 The Society shall be known as the Regional History Society of Southern Africa (RHSSA).

1.2 The mission of the Society shall be:

1.2.1  to create a regional network of history individuals, as well as organizations and academic programs that support regional history work and collaboration in/on Southern Africa.

1.2.2 to facilitate the international exchange of information on research and education practice in regional history.

1.2.3  to foster participation of historians and their institutions, organizations, congresses and other meetings of scholars and practitioners in the field, and especially in the RHSSA’s annual conference.

1.2.4  to promote and facilitate the diffusion of research results and of collaborative work (publications, common projects, etc.) developed by RHSSA’s institutional and individual members.

1.2.5  to encourage the collaboration of historians in Southern Africa, working on topics/themes or/and phenomena or particular trends in the field of regional history.



Membership of the Society can be on an individual and an institutional basis:

Membership of the RHSSA is open to individuals, institutions, societies and any other organisation primarily engaging with regional history activities.  Individual members and other organisations can exercise only one vote in elections or in decisions concerning the RHSSA.

2.1 Individual

2.1.1 Membership of the Society on an individual  basis imply: Membership fees, concessionary rates, and the period for which they apply, will be fixed from time to time by the Steering Committee (and when an RHSSA Board is elected after the 2022 Webinar/conference, it will be the RHSSA Board’s task).

2.1.2 Members will be designated   ́Founding Members ́ who join the Society prior to the closing day of the 2022 Webinar, and thus before the first formal founding meeting at the first face to face conference in Nov 2023.

2.2  Institutional affiliations

2.2.1 The Steering Committee will have the power to enter into affiliation agreements with appropriate academic institutions or partners if such affiliations further the aims of the Society.

2.2.2 The Steering Committee will have the power to negotiate affiliation fees and to determine

the services of the Society to which members of affiliated organisations will be entitles.



3.1 The Officers of the Society shall be a Steering Committee that includes: the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and the Admin Officer, and additionally elected delegates (see Section 4.2).

3.2 The President and Vice-President  of the Committee, the Treasurer, and the Secretariat shall be elected by the Committee from among the elected members of the Committee and their tenure of office shall be for a period of three years in each instance.

3.2.1 The President of the Committee and General Assembly directs the organization, convenes general meetings, appoint and supervises activities of all sub-committees but tasked to regularly oversee some (while the Vice President oversee the remainder sub-committees);

3.2.2). The President also acts as the RHSSA’s official spokesperson and delegate to conferences organised for historians and scholars dealing with historical-related research on a global scale;

3.2.3 The Vice-President shall be tasked to stand in for the President when the President is not available for important RHSSA obligations; The Vice President will oversee the remainder of the RHSSA sub-committees (see point 3.2.1).

3.2.4 An important aspect of the Presidency and Vice Presidency positions will be to assist overseeing internal operations; build stronger customer relationships and contributing to achieve the society’s financial goals;

3.2.5 The Treasurer manages all financial matters of the RHSSA;

3.2.6 The Administrative Officer shall be responsible for the website and the regular communications of the RHSSA. S/He can also be responsible for minute keeping of the Steering Committee and General Assembly meetings.  The Admin Officer shall give at least one month’s notice in writing to all members by the same means as specified.

3.3 If for any reason any officer is unable to take up or continue in office the Committee shall fill the vacancy from among the elected members of the Committee or if no one is available from the Committee, from among the other members of the Society.

3.4 Only one office may be held by a member at any one time.

3.5 Office holders may at the end of their term of office complete their elected period of membership of the Committee. Office holders may complete their term of office of three years even if their elected period of membership of the Committee has expired.

3.6 The Committee may re-elect an officer to the same position named in 3.2 annually for a maximum further period of three years and thereafter he or she shall not be eligible for election to the same office until the lapse of one year.



4.1 The Committee of eight will be elected by postal or email ballot after candidates having been proposed and seconded by members in writing.

4.2 It shall consist of (a) the Officers, (see 3.2); b) the Editor(s)-in-Chief of any Journal that the Society may publish and (e) [four maximum] further members of the Society.

4.3 The term of the elected members shall be three years (except in the case of officers, whose elected period of tenure is suspended).

4.4 After the first two years of the Society, candidates for election to the Committee must have been members of the Society for at least one year.

4.5 The Committee shall have the power to co-opt (a) to complete the Office holders, (b) to complete the membership of the Committee, and (c) for specific purposes. Such co-opted members shall serve until the subsequent.

4.6 Four members of the Committee shall form a quorum.

4.7 All members of the Steering Committee shall be members of the Society during their term, either elected, co-opted or ex officio. If non-attendance is recorded at more than three successive meetings of the Committee membership of the Committee shall lapse unless adequate explanation is given to the satisfaction of the Committee.



5.1 The General Assembly will be composed of all members of the RHSSA.

5.2 The Steering Committee shall have the power to convene such an assembly as may be appropriate to further the objects of the Society.


5.3 The General Assembly will have the authority to deliberate on the following matters:

5.3.1 Amendment of the constitution/statutes, and where appropriate the internal regulations;

5.3.2 The appointment or/and dismissal of any member (Steering Committee leadership included);

5.3.3 Approval of the annual budget and expenditure;

5.3.4 Dissolution of the Society;

5.3.5 Exercising any powers as decided on in the ISRH constitution.  

5.3.6 The Annual General Assembly shall be held at the Conference of the Society. The Admin Officer shall give at least one month’s notice of the AGM via email or by announcement on the official website. The Annual General Assembly shall undertake the following business:

(a) The reception of the Report of the Committee,

(b) the reception of the Treasurer ́s Report,

(c) The reception of the Report of the Editorial Board of the Society’s Journal,

(d) and  the reception of the any other reports as deemed necessary by the Committee,

(e) The approval of a qualified person to examine the Society’s accounts for the coming year. Such a person shall have the ability and experience in accountancy matters and be independent of the Committee.


5.3.7 The President’s position in the Assembly shall be taken by the Dep President of the Committee in the Chair’s absence.  It might also be another member of the Society as the meeting shall determine.

5.3.8 About 50% of the members of the Society shall form a quorum.


5.3.9  Extra-ordinary General Meetings: The Admin Officer shall summon an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting at the request of the Committee or upon the written request of at least 20 members of the Society. Such request shall state the purpose for which the meeting is to be held.



6.1 Sub-Committees may also be established by the RHSSA members, and be adopted at the Steering Committee and General Assembly

6.2 All Sub-Committees are responsible to the Steering Committee and shall report via their chair to the Committee as required by the Committee ́s agenda.

6.3  The Steering Committee may grant powers of co-option to membership to individual Sub-Committees.

6.4 Each Sub-Committee shall be subject to review annually by the Committee in conjunction with the General Assembly.



7.1 The Steering Committee is empowered to publish or to co-operate in the publication of a Journal on behalf of the Society to further the objects of the Society.

7.2 The membership of the Journal’s Editorial Board shall be guided by the Steering Committee and the Editorial Board shall be responsible to the Committee and shall report to the Committee as required by the Committee ́s agenda.

7.3 The Core Editorial Board shall consist of (a) the President of the Committee, ex officio (b) one of the elected members of the Committee chosen by the Committee to represent the Society (c) at least the Editor-in-Chief, two joint Editors and a Reviews Editor.

7.4 The Editors shall be elected by the Steering Committee. Normally an editor shall serve for a term of six years. Any extension (for a maximum of three years) shall be at the discretion of the Committee.

7.5 The Editorial Board shall meet or confer at least once a year and annual reporting must first be to the done to the Steering Committee and then the General Assembly.



8.1 Amendments to the Constitution shall be made only at a properly convened Annual General Assembly or Extra-Ordinary General Meeting. Proposals to amend the Constitution shall be made by either the Committee or by 50%  of the members of  the Society who shall submit their proposals in writing to the Committee.

8.2 Proposals to amend the Constitution shall be detailed on the Agenda of the Annual General Assembly  or Extra-Ordinary General Meeting.

8.3 Amendments to the Constitution shall be deemed to be carried only if they receive the votes of two-thirds of members present and voting.